"This SEC race, we know, is strange," Williams says. "You know the last couple of years some things have happened so we are going work hard and go out and prepare like we control our own destiny. Even though now we are just going to need a little help, but if we go out and win the rest of our games maybe we can play for the SEC title."
Williams notes that from his viewpoint his Tigers were beaten by the tougher team Saturday night. "Actually, we knew everything that they were going to do and they didn't do anything different. Those guys just played hard. They beat us in all phases of the game. They beat us up front and they were the quicker, faster, better team that night."
The Cadillac was slowed to only 61 yards on 20 carries by the Fighting Tigers' rush defense that remains number one in the nation after limiting Auburn's ground attack to 50 net yards. Williams says that that kind of performance is especially hard to stomach. "It was tough because we had a great week of practice and we felt like we were the better team and we felt like we were going to get the job done," the junior tailback says. "And for us to come out and to play the way that we played, that is disappointing."
Spencer Johnson (53) is looking for a strong finish.
Defensive tackle Spencer Johnson says that things are certainly a little tough on the Plains after Saturday's setback. "Of course, everybody is hurt, everybody is disappointed in how we played, but life goes on," Johnson explains." "LSU had a good team and they beat us and there is nothing that we can do about that except try and get better from it, learn from it and correct our mistakes."
Before returning to conference play, the Tigers have a Saturday home date with 1-7 Louisiana-LaFayette, Auburn's homecoming opponent. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Cornerback Carlos Rogers says that defensive coordinator Gene Chizik told the Tigers to get ready for a busy week of workouts. "There is not any really big difference in how we are going to do things. We have just got to execute. People are down right now, but Coach Chizik said if you are not ready to come in and work to get better then you should just walk out, but everybody stayed in there so we are ready to go."
Offensive Coordinator Hugh Nall says that he is using the loss as an opportunity to challenge the offense and prepare them for the stretch run of the season. "I thought once again that we let them know what we expect and we let them know that that was certainly not what happened and that we are not going to put up with that," Nall explains. "Also, that we have a chance to win some more games and we are going to take them one at a time and we are going to do what we are supposed to do one play at a time and so that was the message. And from what I could tell everything was positive."
Nall says he believes that Auburn's offense is certainly capable enough to answer the call. "We have got a lot of class kids and I really believe that they will come back and do what they are supposed to do," he says.
Even after dropping to 4-1 in SEC play and 5-3 overall, Auburn still has a strong chance to win the SEC's Western Division and play for the conference title in Atlanta. Auburn has the opportunity to play division leading Ole Miss at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 8th. LSU still faces games at Ole Miss and at Alabama as well as a feisty Arkansas team in a rivalry game at home.
No one has said that Auburn has an easy road to Atlanta at this point, but as Johnson explains the Tigers know what they must do. "We have learned from all of these losses and we have still got our goal within reach," the senior defensive tackle says. "We have just got to take care of Auburn offense and Auburn defense and just try to get better and try to win these last games."
The Tigers hit the practice field again on Tuesday after taking their traditional off day on Monday. Auburn will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for Saturday's homecoming game.